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Puppeteers network set up to grease Equity relations

The National Theatre's War Horse. Photo: Brinkhoff-Mogenburg The National Theatre's War Horse. The new Equity network aims to forge closer links between puppeeters and the union. Photo: Brinkhoff/Mogenburg
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Puppeteers are joining together to form a network that will help them work more closely with union Equity on “matters of interest and concern”.

The new network will follow a similar remit to that launched recently for comedians in the sector.

According to Equity’s variety organiser Michael Day, about 1,000 of the union’s members work in the puppetry sector.

“They are represented on committees and through our agreements but they are not linked to each other. They thought it would be a good idea to form something so they can communicate better with each other, and through that they will be able to bring things to our attention more,” he said.

“The puppeteers think they are a definite, distinct group and use skills that other performers don’t,” Day added.

A meeting will be held on September 26 to formalise the network.

According to information circulated to union members, the network aims to “work closely with the union on matters of interest and concern in the industry”.

In 2013, the Royal Opera House came under fire for asking puppeteers to work unpaid on a production of El Gato Con Botas.

Following intervention from Equity, the puppeteers were paid.

Earlier this week, puppets from the National Theatre’s production of War Horse were sold for £68,000.

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